English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.

Limbo Fm

Early-attested site in the Parish of Petworth

Historical Forms

  • Limboe 1645 SxNQ


The earliest certain reference to this is in 1535 (MinAcct ) in 'the boscage of Petworth called Lymehowe ' and in 1542 (ib.), 'boscage called Lymhow .' The meaning of this name is obscure, for the site makes it impossible to derive it from 'lime' or from hoh. The modem form (Limboe 1645 SxNQ 2, 20) is probably due, in part at least, to the farm's lying just on the edge of Petworth Park on the 'outer fringe' of things, though the development of the b might be explained on phonological grounds.It is impossible however to dissociate this name from another series found in connexion with the Petworth estate. In 1316 we have mention of Imhaghe by Putteworth (Ipm) which must have been the home of John atte Imphaghe (1327 SR) or Tymbehagh (1332 SR) and John atte Imbehawe (1418Ct ), cf. ate Ymphagh in Hascombe (Sr) (1332 SR). In 1535–40 this appears (MinAcct ) as 'pasture called Nymbhaugh , Nymberhagh ' with the common affixed n from atten , and we have also mention of 'the boscage called Imbehome al. Palshuddes .' The former of these two names would seem to be an error of transcription for Imbehowe .The places must have been very near one another and Lim(b)ehowe , Imbehowe and Nimbhagh are so like one another that it is possible that all the forms may have been developed from one original. The prefixed l may well be the French def. art., cf. the history of Lifford (PN Wo 255). The first element in Imphaghe is the noun imp , 'sapling, shoot,' found in such compounds as imp-garth , imp-yard (NED s. n .), and Impcroft (16th) in Appledram. This must have been a haga or hedge made of such, a likely name in this woodland area.

The alternative name Palshuddes is of even greater interest.This must be the Palinga schittas named in BCS 898 (late copy) as one of the swine-pastures belonging to Felpham. The others were Idehurst supra 105 and Little Bognor infra 126. This must have given its name to the William de Paleshudd , Wm Paleschudde and Palschudde assessed respectively under Sullington, Fittleworth and Slindon in 1296, 1327 and 1332 (SR). Pal(l)eshudd is also found as a pers. name in Kirdford in 1271 (Ass ) and Robert de Paleshutte is mentioned in connexion with Kirdford in 1279 (Ass ). The second element here is clearly the OE  scydd discussed under Gunshot infra 132. The first is probably the genitive sing, of the ingas -name found in Poling infra 171. Poling is some six miles north-east of Felpham and the whole name may mean 'sheds or swine-cotes belonging to the people of Poling.' For names of this type, v. Introd. xvii.